The B-right/V R2.5 (Cho Kanji 2) operating system that Personal Media Corporation put on sale on July 7, 2000, is an incremental improvement on the previous version, but the main improvements that have been made are very important to Japanese users. The most important improvement of these was the inclusion of a vertical screen editor function, which was demonstrated quite some time ago. This function can also be used with other Asian languages, such as Chinese and Korean, thus allowing for all of the languages of East Asia to be written in their traditional style. Below, the first page of the famous Japanese novel Rashomon by author Ryunosuke Akutagawa is shown in Figure 1, and the Fujian Chinese, Korean, and Beijing Chinese greeting for 'good day' are shown from left to right in Figure 2.
The other big improvement to the operating system was the inclusion of World Character Input modules. These allow the user to input foreign languages supported by B-right/V R2.5 directly from the keyboard onto the screen using an in-line display method that alleviates the need for the user to shift his/her line of sight. More than 20 of these modules have been bundled with the B-right/V R2.5 operating system, and even a rare language, Ainu, is supported. Below, the Beijing Chinese greeting 'good day' is being input with the Pinyin input module in Figure 3. The World Character Input system panel, which is set to Traditional Chinese, is shown in Figure 4.
As is the case with previous versions of the operating system, B-right/V R2.5 supports new character sets. Included this time around are the JIS levels 3 and 4, officially known as JIS X 0213, which were released on January 20, 2000. Together, these two character sets add another 4,244 characters to the operating system, bringing the total number of characters supported to 134,567. In the Character Search Function, JIS 3 is distinguished with "light blue," and JIS 4 is distinguished with "aqua." This is shown below in Figure 5 in the Character Search panel, where characters with the "'earth' element times two" are being searched for. The Character Search function itself has been improved so that related Chinese characters in different national character sets can be easily searched for. In Figure 6, the Simplified Chinese character for 'electricity' is used to search for related characters in other national character sets (black is for JIS levels 1 and 2, red is for Simplified Chinese, purple is for Korean, green is for the Konjaku Mojikyo character set, and orange is for Traditional Chinese). Also, provisions have been made for searching for related sysmbols that exist in the various character sets. In Figure 7, the "circle 9" results in various versions of the numeral nine being output.
The B-right/V R2.5 operating system is still on sale at computer shops throughout Japan for approximately 10,000 yen. It can also be purchased directly from Personal Media Corporation. For contact information and the latest news on Personal Media Corporation products that are currently on sale, please go to their Web site here.